Kayak Rentals at Riverside Park
Bay City's beloved Riverside Park has contracted with Rent.Fun for Kayak Rentals located at the park. Rent.Fun is a self-service rental company that provides kayaks and all the necessary supplies to spend the day paddling on the Colorado River. There is a $9/half hour rental rate. Hours of operation are from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.
It is very simple to get started:
1. Download the App from Rent.Fun and create an account in about 30 seconds.
2. Scan the QR code at the station to unlock your kayak, paddle and lifejacket. (Always wear your lifejacket while on the water).
3. Bring your equipment back to the station. Select "Unlock" in the App to return the equipment.
The Colorado River winds some 500 miles through west and central Texas before flowing into the Gulf of Mexico about 20 miles south from Riverside Park. Almost 4 miles upriver is the Bay City Dam which provides a great 2–4 hour paddle and is approximately 8 miles in length. Heading 13 miles downriver is the FM 521 launch which can be accessed by the public and is better suited for all day or one-way trips.
Paddling upstream and back you will see beautiful and varied scenery. Areas that have high banks on one side and a sandbar on the other. Sometimes you will have vegetated banks but often they are river cut banks and are usually reddish or showed bands. The high banks usually have some trees with open fields behind them. You will see many live oaks, hackberry, cottonwoods, willows and other plant species typical of the coastal plains. You can also many bird species including caracaras, the Mexican Eagle that is found commonly in south Texas. A pair of nesting Bald Eagles are also known to inhabit a tall tree nearby. There are many sandpipers, doing their little bobbing walk along the edge of the water or flying weakly about a foot above the water along with other wading birds. Mostly the river looks wild, but you will see cow pastures, and sometimes structures along the way. Slow speed and the quiet allows you to see turtles, woodpeckers, come really close to a spoonbill walking on a log. Watch the deer, raccoons and wildlife while drifting over and enjoy the sounds of the river where it meets downed trees.
Kayak rentals are ready to go and are given out on a “first come, first served” basis. They are only available to registered guests of Riverside Park, so be sure to check in at the Ranger Station when arriving for tips and helpful advice to enhance your visit. Riverside Park is available for camping, RV spaces, party pavilions and group gatherings.